SARAH’S Law arrives in South Yorkshire on Monday, marking a major and highly welcome milestone in the journey of child protection.
This was called for by the mother of child murder victim Sarah Payne. She was spurred to action by a driving need to ensure that other parents were not forced to undergo the same heartache as she suffered.
Therefore, she successfully lobbied for the authorities to be obliged to disclose the background of known sex offenders when requested under certain circumstances.
This is significant as it places the rights of victims and potential victims ahead of those of known offenders.
Too many times the opposite has happened and criminals have hidden behind ill-conceived legislation which did the opposite of what it was set out to achieve.
One argument against the law’s introduction was that the police may become flooded by enquiries about suspected paedophiles. But trials of the new rules have shown these concerns to be unfounded.
Slightly more than 300 requests were put forward in areas where trials were conducted, yet the return was surprisingly high, with 10 per cent of suspects turning out to have a questionable background.
We believe that shows this Sarah’s Law is something we should have embraced a long time ago.
Tide turns for city business chances
WHEN rents hit record levels, it is usually a cause for concern. But when the charge concerned is for office space, a different picture can be painted.
A new record for office rents was set in Sheffield last year as the city became one of only three key regional property markets where headline office rents rose.
Rents hit £20 a square foot with the completion of the largest deal of the year on the city’s digital campus.
Forecasts suggest that more than 80,000 sq ft of quality office space could be taken up in Sheffield city centre in the first six months of this year alone.
Which could leave us in the remarkable position of facing a shortage of quality office space in a year to 18 months.
There was a time when the city appeared to be awash with empty offices, but now the tide has turned and we hope business can ride a wave of opportunity.
Food for thought
WE are constantly bombarded by health warnings about the things we eat and drink. In fact, so much advice abounds that it’s easy to be confused. That is why it is good to learn that Hallam University is to host its annual nutrition fair when people can get impartial tips on everything about healthy eating. Now there’s food for thought!